Matthew James Aylett should be called Matthew James A-List*

Matthew James Aylett – Factory Blues

“Bright New Year” by Bert Jansch is one of my favourite songs for the turning of the year. Bert was, of course, a supremely gifted songwriter and a master teller of English folktales. I find myself coming back to him again and again around this time, this tangled time when the past is a closing door and the future is barely visible, a rumour of light at the end of an empty corridor. Where doubt and hope meet on the narrow stairwell, who can pass? It’s a time when we need bright colours, audacity and something a little out of the ordinary to guide us through.

“Factory Blues”, the new EP by Lincolnshire’s Matthew James Aylett is just such a milestone, a signpost, a calling-card from serendipity that dropped into our mailbox on an inauspicious weekday in early January. Every cloud and all that. Here are three songs that showcase an exceptional songwriting talent. Matthew has an obvious love and understanding of the English folk idiom and he combines that with American country, blues and folk to great effect. The playing is also marvellous, the Steve Wickham-esque fiddle is an absolute delight.

Of the three songs, Matthew says

“Ain’t No More Factory Blues” – “Is a response to sly comments regarding people who work in factories I feel a response is necessary” – Matthew being a factory worker himself.

“Worry Never Sleeps” – “Written at 3am in the morning after being up for 2 nights”. (Sounds like a typical day at SWIT HQ)

“Past Goodbye” – “A song of hope and moving forward, letting go”.

“Past Goodbye” is for me the pick of the bunch, a fully-formed classic, echoing peak Dylan & The Band. Grounded in tradition, suffused with integrity and craft, “Factory Blues” is a fine piece of work.

The EP will be available for download on all major streaming sites from January 12th. Matthew will be providing a full-length LP later in 2018 with a view of touring across cities within the U.K and beyond.

He’s not bad with a pen either, love the wings. Think this will have to go into the gallery.

Photo: Emma Lucy Aylett
Ep Art by: Hannah Bigley
Art ( Wings ): Dave Jackson

*possibly our worst headline ever. Proud? Yes!

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